Population Controllers Miscalculate
"She was a mother in rural Ghana. She only wanted four children. But she had seven."
So reported Sophie Cousins of NPR, relaying a story told by Faustina Fynn-Nyame of the "reproductive health care non-profit" Marie Stopes International at the fourth "Women Deliver" global conference, held in Copenhagen in May.1 This mother, Fynn-Nyame reprimanded the audience, "was let down by the community, the government and us."
But thankfully, Cousins went on to report, such women may soon get the condoms and birth control that they supposedly desperately want—via a method that seems more typical of military ops. Back in 2014, a "group of public health experts" came up with a seemingly far-fetched idea. Let's try delivering contraception to sub-Saharan Africa via drone, they suggested. And late last year, "an unmanned, automated machine with a wingspan of about 50 inches carried about 4.5 pounds of supplies like condoms and birth control pills, as well as life-saving drugs like oxytocin, which prevents hemorrhaging during childbirth, to parts of Ghana."2
The justification for such interventions is that, according to a World Health Organization fact sheet, an estimated "225 million women in developing countries" would like to have fewer babies.3 (How did they come up with that "estimate," by the way? Who knows? The fact sheet doesn't say.) The Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, estimated in 2012 that 39 percent of pregnancies that year in sub-Saharan Africa were un-intended;4 amazingly, the institute came up with the exact same figure in 2014.5
Giving People What They Aren't Asking For
There are two really big incongruities here that deserve pointing out. The first is that, as even Guttmacher admits (assuming its figures are correct), the "unintended pregnancy" rate in Africa (39 percent) is lower than that in the United States (where it was 45 percent of all pregnancies in 2011).6 Here in the States, where policymakers are doing all they can to make sure that all women and girls, in all localities, can get whatever device, pill, implant, or injection they want free of charge, we still have more unplanned babies than in Africa. This might lead one to suspect that the availability of contraceptive technology isn't the problem.
So what is the problem? It seems that Africans actually want more children. They have far more babies per woman than we do here in the U.S., and yet their rate of unintended pregnancies is much lower. The NPR story admits as much. It cites University of Amsterdam researcher Rosalijn Both, who says that people's religious beliefs are a key factor to be taken into account in providing contraceptive products to sub-Saharan African women. In her words, "If contraceptives and other reproductive health commodities are simply dropped in remote areas without health education materials in the local language, I would be surprised if the impact would be big."7
So even by such dubious measuring techniques as those employed by the Guttmacher Institute, it seems to be the case that African women want children and are not eager to use contraception. It must be those pesky religious attitudes that are to blame. We've really got to do something about those, like employing public health "experts" and translators to provide "health education materials" that will convince sub-Saharan Africans that they do not, in fact, want so many babies, and that their religions are full of bunk.
Money & Ideology
The second big incongruity in the NPR article—and others like it—is that apparently, when it comes to babies, it's okay for the West to throw away its multicultural principles and instead be racist and colonial and altogether creepy toward people in less-developed countries. Despite all their talk about affirming the choices and cultures of people in those countries, the U.S. and other developed nations are brazenly poking their noses into the most intimate relationships that people can have.
Policymakers like to cite maternal mortality rates as justification for such intrusion, and admittedly, the rates in Ghana and other sub-Saharan nations are much higher than those in the developed world. But given that African women seem generally to want more children, why do we spend billions of dollars on birth control for them and then billions more trying to convince them to use it? The title of one of those Guttmacher Institute fact sheets says it all—"Costs and Benefits of Investing in Contraceptive Services in Sub-Saharan Africa."
It's the money, honey. The current model of reproductive foreign aid—injecting women with contraceptive implants or inserting IUDs—costs a lot less than setting up clinics and helping women deliver safely. It also costs the West a lot less in humanitarian aid when there are fewer women and children to care for. And it's a lot more in line with our elite's anti-baby ideology.
We do the same thing here in the U.S., by the way. Policymakers are intensely interested in the fertility choices of poor women, because it's those poor women's babies who they expect will end up on the public dole later in life.
Herein lies one of the great tragedies of the welfare state—at local, state, national, and international levels. When governments pay for the babies of the poor, it becomes in those governments' best interests to prevent the poor from having so many babies. •Nicole M. King
is the managing editor of the Howard Center's quarterly journal, The Family in America: A Journal of Public Policy.This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #38, fall 2016 Copyright © 2020 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo38/fertility-fixers